Thursday, September 17, 2015

In which I compare Sly to Rasputin, but only in my mind

Primo and I had a big fight on the phone last night. Started because mainly because he was being a jerk but I suppose I was being one as well. He had scheduled a flight back to his mom and dad's on a date and time that meant great inconvenience to me - either I cancel an oral surgery appointment I made a month ago and had told him about or he leave the car at the airport - because you cannot drive for a few hours after you have taken valium or at least I cannot do it - and I would have to go get it.

1. I don't have any friends close enough I feel comfortable asking to drive me 20 miles to the airport. That's at least a one-hour favor.
2. Seriously? Why can't he take a cab? (Leave the question that getting a cab in this city is almost impossible but God forbid we have Uber because THAT WILL HURT PEOPLE.) A cab would be bad because Sly would have to spend an extra $50 and because Primo is a control freak and hates it when someone else is driving.

So then the fight degenerates to "Well change your ticket to leave at 6:00 a.m. as I had suggested and I can take the bus to the dentist" to which the response is, "But that other ticket is $200 more expensive," to which I said, "Like I care? Shouldn't Sly make some of the sacrifices here?"

Which was when Primo got mad and said I should make some sacrifices and I yelled that I HAD ALREADY MADE MY CANCER-RIDDEN PARENT SACRIFICES THANK YOU VERY MUCH and I was not prepared to make them for someone else's father, to which Primo said, "Yeah well you hate my dad" and what was I supposed to say to that?

I wanted to know why Primo is expected to suck everything up and change his life completely - he has been gone for over three weeks now, with one 36-hour visit home - and Sly is expected to do nothing and Primo said "He has cancer!" and I said, "Your father is still at home, does not feel bad, has not gained 50 pounds in water because his kidneys are not working, has not lost one third of his body weight and all his hair from chemo, is not on a morphine IV. Your father does not get to play the cancer card."

Then Primo said that there is a five percent chance that Sly might die on the operating table when he is having the Whipple procedure and I said that means there is a 95% chance he won't die and that I am pretty sure - in fact, I PROMISE - Sly will not die on the operating table.

I wanted to know if Sly was getting his affairs in order - he has time to watch porn and other videos - and Primo said I do not understand what life is like for old people. "He had physical therapy today and then we visited my mother," he said.

"That's four hours, max. What does he do with the rest of his day?"

Primo got mad again and said I cannot expect eight hours of productivity from an old man with cancer and I said no but I can expect one hour a day and Primo said that Sly does not work that way and do I expect him to micromanage Sly? and I said No I do not expect you to micromanage but I expect Sly to think that perhaps he might die in surgery (he won't) and that he MIGHT WANT TO MAKE SURE LIFE IS EASY FOR HIS WIFE AND HIS SON BUT NO! THAT WOULD MEAN THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE BESIDES HIMSELF!

And then Primo said there was nothing he could do and I realized that I was not being supportive and I cannot fix this and I just have to detach and stay out of it because no matter what I say, nothing will change and challenging Primo about it, even when he brings it up as an issue, just makes him defensive and angry.

He said, "Do you know how stressed out my dad gets out about ordinary things? Putting on the trash on Sunday is a huge deal for him. It takes me ten minutes to empty all the trash cans in the house and take everything to the curb, but he worries about getting it done."

(Jack usually goes over on Sunday to take out the trash.)

("The trash" also includes a lot of empty liquor bottles.)

(No, I have no idea why they just don't buy a wheeled trash can. They insist on dragging the bags out to the curb.)

Then Primo said that Ted had said he could be there after May 17 but Primo doesn't want him there until the beginning of June because Primo has some political thing he wants to attend the first weekend in June and Ted said, "But I have my 35 year college reunion!" so Primo got all mad at Ted because he said AFTER MAY 17 and I said that he probably had not thought into June and it is not unreasonable for him to want to attend his reunion and Primo said that he might as well just CANCEL the flight and CHANGE THE DATES since Ted couldn't do it and I said

"You are crazy. Just because Ted can't be there that weekend does not mean you have to be there. Your dad can hire help. You can call an agency and your dad pays. It does not have to be YOU personally."

And he was still cranky because then he started saying, "And it's all ruined and you're still going to expect me to have a job by October" (I will) "and I will not have had ANY time off and it's NOT FAIR."


And we both yelled at each other to SHUT UP and then I said, "I am just going to fedex you some cheese so you can start throwing it" and he said, "I'm sorry sweetie. I'm being a jerk" and I said, "You sure are" and he said, "But you yelled at me" and I said, "You yelled first" and then we fought for a second about who started it and then we stopped.

He said, "I'm sorry" again and said, "I love you."

I said, "I want to hear you say, 'Goldie, you are the only person in my life who is not f'ing it up and if it weren't for you working so I could take a year off, this nightmare would be even worse.'"

So he said it.

Then I said that I would change my oral surgery appointment so I could take him to the airport.

"But I wanted you to have that surgery right before I leave!" he protested. "It's so gross with that pink stuff in your mouth. I don't want to kiss you. I want to be gone while you're recovering!"

I said, "Just for that, I am changing it for sure because I am not having surgery on your schedule just so you don't have to be grossed out."

Then I said that I wanted to sleep and we hung up.

But of course I could not fall asleep because I was too worked up. Then I thought, "It takes about an hour to get to the airport on the bus but I can read my book and you know, this is a solution."

So I called him back and told him we could do that. He said no, he would change to a different flight and I insisted that no, no, no - I would be the one to sacrifice and he said he had been a big fat jerk and I agreed and he said that he is under so much stress and what about looking for a  job? and I said that if he could inherit a million dollars, working would be up for negotiation.

He sighed and said, "My dad is not going to die."


  1. I just knew you were not going to let Primo forget the Cheese Throwing Incident!

    I feel for you guys. Dealing with the issues of aging relatives is really, really difficult, even when said relatives are NICE and APPRECIATIVE. I never threw any cheese, but I certainly would have if I had thought it would help.

    1. Nope. The Cheese Throwing Incident will remain part of our history and I will pull it out when necessary!

      I just asked Primo if throwing the cheese made him feel any better and he said it did relieve stress. So I would recommend it, but only if there is nobody else around. :)

  2. I feel for you. It's hard to manage your life, keep the home front running, doing the work of two and being supportive. I used to often feel strained and cranky. It felt petty, considering what my husband was dealing with in another city, but it was real. Try throttling a pillow.